Guest Blog: Author Editing Interview with Maria Siopis

Today I welcome Maria Siopis to the blog to share her thoughts on the editing process.

1) Tell us a bit about you and your writing
Hi, my name is Maria Siopis. I’m originally from Greece but moved to the United States thousands of years ago--it feels like it--and never left. My home is New York. I began writing very early in life, composing short stories, but never considered writing professionally. Fast forward thirty years, and I completed a couple of novels--the very first one was edited by Nicola Markus--and more than a few stories. Most of my work is published by Shadoe Publishing, a small press, which I think is so much more personal than a big publishing house. I have four WIP projects that I’m hoping to complete by the end of 2018.

2) What do you enjoy most about the editing process?
Editing, particularly for me, is absolutely necessary; my grammar is horrendous. I love getting my manuscript back from my editor, who graciously has marked all my grammar mistakes, pointed out holes in my plot, and openly disliked my similes. Yet, through the process of editing, the manuscript is refined, beautified, if you wish, to a product the author will be proud to present to the world.

3) What do you find hardest about the editing process?
I must confess that I hate the editing process because it’s time consuming. On the other hand, I would not dare publish anything without consulting an editor. Nevertheless, the hardest part is the suggestions the editor recommends. Consider this: I’m married to the written words I created, and asking me to make changes shatters my confidence as an author. You go through this process of second guessing yourself, but in the end, and after much consideration, you accept the suggestions because, deep inside, you know your editor made valid points.

4) What are your general thoughts on editing as part of the overall publishing process?
You should never consider publishing without consulting an editor. You may read your manuscript a hundred times and still be unable to see obvious mistakes. I believe editing is the most important part in the publishing process.

5) What are your top editing-related tips for authors?
Avoid long sentences--I have the tendency to do this--as you will lose your reader. Replace jargon with simpler words, perhaps more common words. Take a break for a couple days, or even a week or two, and then re-read. Personally, I prefer to have an editor. My very first experience was with Nicola Markus, so I’m ruined for life, and I would not publish anything without a professional editor pointing out my mistakes and suggesting changes. By the way, Nicola Markus is an excellent editor.

About the Author

Maria Siopis possesses a MPA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. She completed her dissertation “Avian Influenza (H5N1): The Doctrine of Social Disassociation, Quarantine, and Emergency Preparedness” in 2006, tackling a non-fiction theme. Other than writing, she obsesses over climatic or manmade catastrophes and continuously attempts to conceptualize needed actions. The author lives in New York and is currently working on her third novel.